In some ways the Holy Spirit is hard to understand. To try to help us understand let’s take a look at what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that “God is Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Spirit of God is first revealed in Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” So right at the beginning we see the Holy Spirit involved in creation.
Spirit, Breath, Wind.
The Hebrew word translated as spirit is ruwach. This can also mean wind or breath. Jesus said “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). In this world the wind is amazingly powerful yet we can not see it. We feel it and see the effects but can not contain it. Air is everywhere around us and is vital to our existence. In many ways this pictures the Holy Spirit.
There are two instances in the Bible where God breathes into mankind. The first is at creation: “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7). God breathed His spirit of life into Adam. It was not air but the very power of life given to the form God made from the dust of the earth. God created life.
The second occasion happened when the resurrected Jesus breathed on his disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). The first man Adam became a living soul through the breath of God, then Christ came and became a life giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). People could now become born-again by the power of the Holy Spirit:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1Peter 1:3)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
The Holy Spirit is God
Just as Jesus has many names so does the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God (Gen 1:2) and the Spirit of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1) to name only two clearly indicate the divinity of the Holy Spirit. In the final chapter of the Bible the Spirit calls people to come and drink of the water of life (Revelation 22:17). Peter, when talking to someone who lied to the Holy Spirit, called the Holy Spirit “God” (Acts 5:3-4). Jesus said that the spirit was separate from him but would come from him (John 14:25-26).
The Holy Spirit was promised
The Holy Spirit was promised just as the Messiah was promised (Joel 2:28; Proverbs 1:23). Isaiah prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be in Jesus:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:2)
Jesus promised he would give the Spirit to those who believed in him:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12-13)
God always fulfils his word. He is faithful and true. What he promises he will fulfil. God desires to dwell with man (Exodus 29:45). God gave us the Holy Spirit as a seal, a mark of ownership, until we receive our eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:11-14).
God Wants to Dwell in Us
When God created man He created man in his own image
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
God created the human form in such a way that God would be able to dwell (live, reside) in the human form. So when Jesus was born in a human form he was able to be fully God and fully man (see previous post). When Jesus ascended into heaven he poured out the Holy Spirit on the disciples, to dwell in their hearts. By the power of the Spirit the disciples who previously were afraid and confused and betrayed Christ were transformed. Born again into new creatures they preached the gospel boldly (Acts 4:13). They became so strong in their faith, even when facing severe persecution. Ten of the original Apostles were martyred for their faith.
The Holy Spirit Transforms Your Life
You cannot live the Christian life by trying to be good or trying to be like Jesus. You will fail. The only way you can get to know God is by the Holy Spirit. You need to be born again by the Spirit and then you can get to know God.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.(John 3:5-7).
The Holy Spirit of God now lives in all those who believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ. God dwells with those who have faith in him. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8).
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)